There was a lot of talk recently on Hamas’ position on Syria. The position is almost available in the public domain now which is summed up as Hamas sympathizes with the internal legitimate demands of the Syrian people, and doesn’t tar the whole Syrian crisis with the ‘foreign conspiracy’ denial line as Hezbollah does.
Qassem Qassem in Al-Akhbar summed up both parties’ positions well, and he confirmed that:
The Hamas leader understands the movement’s relative loss of popularity among Hezbollah supporters because of its stance and says, ‘Hezbollah has also lost some of its popularity in our circles because of what is happening in Syria, but we are carrying out internal organizational measures to explain to our base the nature of the relationship with our Hezbollah brothers’.
In whatever way we put it, a main rift is appearing in the historic strategic relation between the two. they recently pledged to have ‘closer ties’, as if they are not close enough! Note how the Muslim Brotherhood has cropped up in their last meeting last week, when both parties agreed to ‘improve relations with the Muslim Brotherhood’.
But it’s striking that any difference is showing on Syria when both parties have the same paymaster (Iran), the same enemy (Israel), adopted the same fighting method (armed struggle), shared a close strategic alliance and resources for more than 20 years.
There is a slight difference though. One is a Sunni faction while the other is a Shiite one. How else can we explain their differences on Syria then? There is no place for the ‘supporting the resistance’ argument here, and Al-Akbar piece doesn’t mention it, but this is sectarianism at ‘its best’. And this is where our region is heading for the next times.